Drowned in love and false kisses
Somewhat of a legendary song this, in a tiny way. It was one of the few Richey lyric titles that was known to fans all the way from around Holy Bible/Everything Must Go days and it’s always been greatly anticipated to appear. As it is, it’s somewhat fitting to its legend that people had already heard a piece of it without even realising – Doors Closing Slowly is one of the two songs whose partial lyrics form the majority of Picturesque’s words.
Aside James doing a really great vocal performance (especially in the choruses with that double-tracked vocal) and that tingling piano that opens the song and ends it while hidden in the mix (the demo for the song has the piano melody going throughout the song unhidden, which is definitely a lovely difference and makes you wish it was clearer on the album version too), the best part of Doors Closing Slowly is the rhythm section. Sean’s drum pattern is simple but powerful, especially during the snare-rolling chorus. It’s got a lot of simple, primal push to it: the drumstick just being left to pound on the snare gives the beat a laboured, rough tone. Similarly Wire’s bass line is a simple one but equally effective, low-end bass notes providing a simple and steady rhythm for the rest of the song to work its magic on. It’s the rhythm section that gives the song its gloomy, slow push style. Like the music’s dragging something very heavy behind and can only take slow steps.
The ending is a bit unsatisfactorily abrupt – verse ending into guitar noise which is covered with a voice clip which then segues into a ticking clock, all happening a bit too quickly – and it’s one of the very few songs on Journal where the shortness actually feels somewhat annoying. Otherwise it’s one of the immediate standouts however. Brilliant material.
The Horrors remix though? Uhhh… right. Maybe I’m just a twat with no greater sense of art – hell, I find the cover for Journal for Plague Lovers quite damn ugly (“but thats its poiiiiiiint!!!!!” shut up) and can’t appreciate it. But still… I mean, sure, I could go with three and a half minutes of seemingly random effects and noise, in lack of a better word, otherwise but this is a remix. An reinterpretation of a song that takes the song’s building blocks and creates something else with them. Can you even call it a remix if it bears absolutely zero resemblance to the original track? There’s nothing of Doors Closing Slowly in it. By itself? Okay, whatever floats your boat. But as a remix? Dude, why.